This is a guest article by Lauren Federico, certified children’s yoga teacher and Braintree, MA massage therapist.
By now you probably know that yoga is a great tools for adults to relieve stress and tension, increase muscle flexibility, strength, and find emotional balance. Did you know yoga has just as many benefits and possibly more, for children and teens?
Kids as young as 3 years old can benefit from yoga. They’ll learn valuable lessons that will travel with them as they become teenagers and into adulthood.
In addition to learning that exercise can be fun and feel good, below are three ways your kids will benefit from a regular yoga practice.
Develop strong, healthy bodies
Yoga poses lengthen and stretch a child’s muscle, helping them become more flexible and resilient to injury. Yoga also helps develop a strong core (stomach and back) in children, which will assist in improving posture and alignment. Yoga is also known to improve sleep, so your child can get the quality zzz’s they need to increase their immunity and emotional state.
Children’s yoga encourages creative expression and imagination, allowing kids to be free with their thoughts. Yoga teaches compassion versus judgment towards the self or others, allowing your child to be more open minded. As your child builds strength and learns new poses he/she will experience a sense of achievement, boosting confidence. They become more aware of their bodies, learn how to relax, and develop an overall sense of well-being.
Improves balance, coordination, and focus
While children’s yoga incorporate a lot of play and high energy moves, equally important are poses that improve focus and concentration. Learning to find their “Drishti” (a Sanskrit word to define “your focal point”) enables them to improve their poses, and increase their balance. This new ability to focus is a skill easily adapted to day-to-day life – at home and at school.
Yoga is increasing in popularity among children as parents recognize the benefits. More importantly, the children love it! Yoga can be practiced one-on-one or in small or large groups.
Curious about whether a kids yoga class is available near you? Research local yoga studios and ask. You’ll want to know that the teacher is certified in children’s yoga and has experience working with youth. Having trouble finding information? Contact me. I’m happy to refer you to a location, or as a certified children’s yoga teacher, maybe I can help you personally.
The next time you’re thinking about getting to a yoga class, call and ask if they offer a kids class, too. Take action as a family to get healthy and have fun.
Your turn: Does your child practice yoga? What is your experience?
About the Author
Lauren Federico is a Certified Yoga Instructor and Licensed Massage Therapist. She is the owner of Body Benefit Massage Therapy in Braintree, Ma. You can contact her at 781-727-0386, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.bodybenefitmassage.com.